REPORT ON THE INTERNATIONAL WEBINAR ON “THE POLITICS OF SPACE AND BELONGING”
On the first day (7.10.2020) of the International Webinar on “The Politics of Space and Belonging”, Dr. Josephine Kipgen, teaching at University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire spoke on “Feminist Perspectives and Discourses On the Body and Physical Appearance”. She spoke on the various representations of ” Woman” as devoid of rational substance matter, as nurturers and providers. She put forth a very important question – How do we reconstruct feminist discourses on the body? She encouraged woman to think of her body as something that does, where admiration is granted not to softness, but to autonomy and self-will.
On the second day (8.10.2020) of the International Webinar, Prof. Joy LK Pachuau of JNU gave a lecture on “Space and Belonging in Mizo History” giving a historical method of understanding the present and the past. She put forth these questions – How do we see ourselves as Mizo? Who is Mizo? She spoke of the notion of the changing notion of landscape brought forth by colonialism which led to territorialization. With colonialism, the landscape becomes a cultural hegemony which transformed the people from a kin order to a territorial identity.
On the third day (9.10.2020), Prof. KC Baral, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of EFL University, spoke on “Culture and Identity: A Mizo Story”. He spoke on the transnationality of culture and how Mizo is a generic term, it’s identity specific to a particular state. He spoke of Pax Brittanica, whereby the native was expected to confirm to the normative practices of the coloniser. He also spoke of the trans-cultural nature of Christianity and of the various mutations on Mizo Christianity. Prof. Baral elaborately spoke on how one’s identity was defined by one’s religion among the Mizos.
The Webinar was a huge success with participants from various corners of the country.